The National Health Insurance Authority is proposing a special tax on sugar-sweetened and alcoholic beverages as additional source of funding for the National Health Insurance Scheme.
The new levy would be put on beverage companies, which would be taxed according to how much sugar is in their products and the money realised placed in the “health box” of the Scheme.
Dr. Samuel Annor, Chief Executive Officer of the Authority gave the hint at an Organised Labour forum on NHIA in Ho on government’s proposal to deduct an additional one per cent of workers salary for the Scheme.
He said the tax would help take care of the health of consumers of such products and reduce intake of such products towards lowering healthcare costs. Dr. Annor said the consumption of sugary and alcoholic beverages posed health problems to consumers and that the tax on such products would help improve the financial status of the Scheme, which would benefit consumers.
He said the Scheme had not been able to function efficiently due to financial constraints and said taxing such products would help revive the Scheme. Dr Annor said every health scheme should have a minimum of six months reserve fund for its beneficiaries but Ghana had none, due to unavailability of fund.